How to properly wear a brooch

March 28, 2016


Queen Elizabeth wearing a broochNow that Easter has come and gone and we can legally wear our white shoes, what’s a girl to do about her brooches? Have you been agonizing over the proper alignment of your sparkly jewels? The sheer madness of this cruel world! If it’s not one thing, it’s another.


Queen Elizabeth wearing a brooch and pink hat.Well, worry no more. I was always taught, “Jewelry on the left, name tag on the right (sit down, stand up, fight, fight, fight!). Sorry, that’s just how I remember it.


Kate Middleton in green dress and shamrock brooch. But in all honesty, I don’t think there’s a steadfast rule on left vs. right when it comes to the sparkly, so we shouldn’t worry too much. I mean, don’t loose sleep over it or anything.


Kate-Middleton wearing brooch.

However . . .  that being said, Queen Elizabeth ALWAYS wears her brooches on the left side. AND, The Duchess of Cambridge,  or, “Kate, the girl I wish was my next-door-neighbor-sister-best-friend-in-the-world,” ALWAYS wears her brooches on the left. Here, she models her RAP brooch. How that chic loves her rap music!


Mr. RightNametags on the right has something to do with shaking hands and being able to see the name clearly.


Disney employees wearing nametags. But the Cast Members at the Happiest Place on Earth wear their name tags on the left. Maybe that’s because it’s so fun to work there, they consider their name tags to be precious jewels!


Laura Bush with gold broochOur own Southern darling, Laura Bush knows the rule. Her politics may lean to the right, but her brooches are always properly placed to the left.


The reason given for sporting the pin or brooch on the left, is so when you shake hands, the chunky jewels are out of the way – especially in case you lean in for a little peck on the cheek, a-la European style. Having diamonds poke you in the tender shoulder area is such a pain! Don’t you just hate it?


In the world of jewelers, a pin is smaller than a brooch and often has a straight unhinged pin on the back instead of the kind that has a rotating clasp. 


michelle Obama in yellow dress and broochActually, the current first lady also displays her bold brooches on the left side.


Jackie Kennedy I don’t know if it was a political statement or not, but Jaqueline Kennedy chose to feature this stunning brooch in the center of her beautiful evening dress. Perhaps it was because this daring frock had no left or right sides.



Elizabeth Taylor wearing broochBut a true American icon stuck to the left-shoulder rule, and Elizabeth knew more about jewels than husbands. Well, okay, maybe it was an even draw there.



Jewelry Collection - Leslie Anne TarabellaThis is my collection of family brooches (more about it HERE) I’ve shown you before,  and for the most part, I like to wear them in many different ways.



Handbag with brooch

I’ve pinned them on a pocketbook like this, on a jaunty hat, and even once, on my ugly, chunky medical boot when I fractured my little princess foot and had to attend a stylish soiree’. (Wish I had a photo of that!).


Queen Elizabeth with broochBut when it comes to my clothing, I’ll stick with Elizabeth and Kate and aim for the left shoulder, because they are such dear friends, I’d hate to disappoint them.


brooch bouquet
Brooch bouquets are all the rage with brides. Hope they don’t throw them!


What’s your favorite way to wear your brooches?

Now, I hope you have a lovely, sparkly week.




  • Ricky Dee says:

    White shoes at Easter? No! No! No! After Memorial Day!

  • For me, I will only ever wear brooches or name badges on my right. Quite simply because when I trained at St George’s hospital, Tooting, we were told categorically that ‘only the queen decorates the left’. This resonates with me as I look on those who receive medals/honours, along with the Queen’s own dress. That’s etiquette. My view. 😀 x

    • That’s an interesting take on the issue I’ve never before heard. Thanks for sharing!

  • Just what I needed to read! Thank you for the information. I had my head in the clouds about where to place a brooch on my shirt today. Do you know you can place one on a turban too. Very chic!

  • I was taught that you wear a brooch or corsage on the left. We chanted “left is right and right is wrong”. The bothersome thing about that today is if I’m driving, the seatbelt strap gets hung up on it. Oh well. Safety first…

    • Leslie Anne says:

      So true about the pesky, but necessary, seat belt!

  • I have a few, mostly given to me, I don’t think I’ve ever bought one. I think they are pretty but I don’t wear them. Mine went to my Christmas brooch bouquet my sister made for me. It is very special, it has pieces from family and friends and makes a beautiful centerpiece!
    Fun post!

  • I do love the sparkle of a pretty brooch. In the 80’s I almost always wore a pearl circle pin with just about every outfit. I need to go through my jewelry box and find it 🙂

  • I inherited a brooch from my grandmother that I knew I would never wear (on either shoulder) so I had it “disassembled” and made into a ring for me, a necklace for my daughter and earrings for my daughter-in-law. I love that you added some sparkle to your medical boot!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      That’s a wonderful idea that I’m sure your daughter and daughter-in-law appreciated!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      It would look stunning on one of your aprons!

  • Leslie Anne, great photos of style! I have several strands of costume pearls that I clip on a large brooch! Pretty stunning, even if I say so!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      That would be pretty!

  • Your photos reminded me that for a few years now I keep meaning to make some kind of display with mine. I have some of my mothers and some others that I think belonged to an aunt. Your idea for pinning it on a surgical boot is very ingenuous. (I hope I used that word correctly?) Every time I look at photos of the Queen, I think I am looking at my mother. So weird. Does that make me a princess?

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Absolutely! And we knew that you must be royalty before you ever told us about your Queenly Mama!

  • Being a left handed person, my natural inclination has always been to wear things on the right; a pon, a broach, a watch. I am delighted to learn that I should not be leaning into my left handed tendencies. Back in the day, being left handed was frowned upon but that is a tale for another day.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Well, I think there should be an exception for lefties! Go ahead and wear your gems on the right and dare anyone to scoff!

      • I feel it is a fashion faux pas even for lefties, to wear their brooches on the right.

        I would not be caught dead wearing a brooch on the right as first impressions are important and not everyone will find out if I am a leftie though even people who spot me from afar may think I don’t even know such a basic rule

  • Perfection!!

    When I wear them, I put them on the left side along with the Queen and Duchess. I really should wear them more and expand my collection as I really do love them. I refuse to wear name tags though. This may get my southern card burned, but I hate them, and normally, I talk so much that everyone knows me name anyway.

    Hope you had a great Easter!!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      One of my sons has an aversion to name tags as well. When he was little, we’d have to sneak and put them on his back! Glad to know the Queen will be approving of your high style!

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